BEIJING ( Associated Press) – China has blocked imports of citrus and fish from Taiwan in retaliation for a visit by US Senator Nancy Pelosi, but has avoided upsetting one of the world’s most important technology and manufacturing ties.
The continent and island, divided since 1949 as a result of a civil war, do not maintain official ties, but they maintain multimillion-dollar commercial ties, particularly in the provision of chips for Chinese factories that assemble cell phones and other electronic equipment. . The devices it uses. World.
He built that business during the decades when Beijing threatened to impose Communist Party rule through an attack on the autonomous island.
Bilateral trade increased by 26% to $328.3 billion last year. Taiwan, which makes half the world’s chips and has technologies the mainland can’t match, said sales from Chinese factories rose 24.4 percent to $104.3 billion.
“The global economy cannot function without chips made in Taiwan or China,” Carl B. Weinberg of High-Frequency Economics said in a report.
Beijing blocked imports of citrus and frozen sablefish and mackerel from Taiwan after House Speaker Pelosi visited the island on Wednesday. China has not stopped the flow of chips and other industrial components, a move whose aftershocks would have overturned the fragile global economy.
Also this week, China blocked the import of other food items such as crackers and seafood from Taiwan, although the time frame was not clear. The customs website showed that the importation of those products was “suspended”.
Fruit, fish and other foods make up a small part of Taiwan’s exports to China, but the move hurts sectors seen as supportive of President Tsai Ing-wen.
Beijing has used the blockade on imports of bananas, alcohol, coal and other goods as leverage in disputes with Australia, the Philippines and other states.
Beijing also announced four days of military operations involving artillery fire in waters around Taiwan that could delay or disrupt shipping to the island, one of the biggest global traders.
A possible upheaval raised fears of weak global growth, but Asian shares opened higher on Wednesday as there were no immediate signs of a Chinese military move.
The Communist Party says Pelosi’s visit could prompt Taiwan to declare its decades-old de facto independence permanent. According to Beijing, this would spark a war.